In what has to be one of the most obtuse networking ideas ever developed, Nintendo has unveiled a LAN adapter that will allow gamers to play Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate for 3DS online. Nintendo and Capcom have been touting the cross play compatibility of the Wii U and 3DS versions as a major selling point of the game; you can transfer your progress from one to the other and join in with friends even if you have different versions. However, one major difference is that the Wii U version features online play while the 3DS version doesn’t.
The LAN adapter solves this problem by allowing the 3DS version to join non-local Wii U games. There are some drawbacks to this, though. First, the Wii U needs to be running a “relay download tool” that can’t be run with the home version of the game– in other words, someone can’t be playing the Wii U game along with the 3DS game. Also, the 3DS version cannot create new parties; they can only be invited to preexisting parties started on the Wii U game.
How much this device will cost and whether or not it will even make its way out of Japan remain a mystery at the moment, but I imagine there are bound to be some people out there who could find a use for such a specialized contraption.